Thursday, 11 October 2012

PhD Thesis: Social Enterprises and the Poor - Enhancing Social Entrepreneurship and Stakeholder Theory

Lisa Dacanay has just published her PhD thesis entitled "Social Enterprises and the Poor - Enhancing Social Entrepreneurship and Stakeholder Theory". This thesis develops a framework for understanding how social enterprises engage the poor and address poverty. Using case based theory building, it studies a theoretical sample of three pairs of Philippine-based social enterprises, where the poor were suppliers, workers, and customers. In half of the cases, the poor were also owners.

The research studies the roles and role changes of the poor in these social enterprises, how and why these roles changed, or did not change, and the impact of the roles and role changes, if any, on the social enterprises and the poor. Data for the research was gathered mainly from key informant interviews, published and unpublished organizational documents as well as previous studies done by external consultants on the case subjects.

Based on a cross case analysis of the data from the theoretical sample, the thesis develops three models of stakeholder engagement among social enterprises with the poor as primary stakeholders or SEPPS, namely: control, collaboration and empowerment. This thesis provides insights and develops propositions about the importance of stakeholder engagement and the power and limitations of these three models in bringing about social inclusion and poverty reduction.

These propositions are suggested to be applicable in countries in the South other than the Philippines where systemic poverty and inequality are exacerbated by the failure of state and market institutions to address the needs of the poor. This thesis makes a contribution to social entrepreneurship and stakeholder theory. It does so by sharing a perspective from the South and giving a voice to the poor as stakeholders. The researcher notes that overall, the poor and the South are under-represented in these discourses. On the whole, social entrepreneurship theorizing has been characterized as embryonic as a topic of academic inquiry. Stakeholder engagement is considered an under-theorized area in stakeholder theory. In developing a framework for understanding stakeholder engagement models involving the poor, this thesis makes a first step towards applying and extending stakeholder theory in SEPPS. The thesis likewise enriches social entrepreneurship theory by conceiving of SEPPS as a global social enterprise model that catalyzes South-North cooperation to address poverty and inequality.

Download the thesis here:

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Business Plan Ideas are online now

One month into the 2013 edition of the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) of the Minor in Social Entrepreneurship our elective "Business Plan Writing for Social Enterprises" now has 7 student teams working on business plan ideas. Feel free to connect with them if you think that you want to help them.

Here is a short overview of the seven business ideas, which will be developed and refined over the next 6 weeks:

1. develop business plan for a Norwegian social entrepreneurs who wants to help Indian widowed women through sales of fair trade yoga clothing

2. develop a business plan for a Danish designer who has developed a transport bike for low income people in developing country

3. develop business plan for distributing a Finish online education game aimed at illiterate children to developing countries

4. develop business plan for social impact assessment consulting platform in Denmark

5. develop business plan for a Danish events management start-up working on Climate change related events

6. develop business plan for marketing pop-up mosquito nets to Africa to prevent Malaria

7. raise funds for charities from private companies that need market information via a website on which people can volunteer to take market surveys.

You can read more on our Facebook page (see "recent posts by others") where the groups describe their ideas to their coaches:

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Eight Crowdfunding Sites For Social Entrepreneurs

Forbes has just published a list of eight Crowdfunding Sites for Social Entrepreneurs.  Most sites on the list are available only to charities registered in the US.

See the Forbes list here:

It would be interesting to complement this list with European alternatives. So please let me know what you come up with. Any suggestions will be posted here. 

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Malmö offers half year course on Social Entrepreneurship

An interesting half year option to study Social Entrepreneurship is offered by Malmö University. This 30 ECTS Master course runs each Spring (Jan-June) and aims to develop practical skills within the field of Social Entrepreneurship. The course is open to students from various backgrounds seeking to develop skills in leadership and organisation within the field of Social Entrepreneurship. For more information contact

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Thorkil Sonne of Specialisterne receives 2012 Social Entrepreneur award

One of Denmark's foremost Social Entrepreneurs, Thorkil Sonne, has received the 2012 Social Entrepreneur award from the Schwab Foundation for his launching of Specialisterne, an organisation specialized in software testing. What makes his company special is that most of its employees are diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. While people suffering from autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are typically seen as a burden by most employers Specialisterne welcomes them with open arms. For Specialisterne’s area of expertise they are actually more suited than anyone else, since its services involve tasks that are monotonous, repetitive and require great accuracy in all steps involved. Characteristics that fit perfectly the unique set of competences people with Asperger bring to the table.

Monday, 10 September 2012

CBS Student Set New Fundraising Record

At the start of every semester the CBS students studying our elective J28 "Business Plan Writing for Social Enterprises" are asked to raise funds for a social purpose as their first assignment. They have only 7 days to select a cause, develop a campaign idea, implement it, and transfer the funds to the beneficiary. This year's best team did not just raise more funds than last year's best team, they actually singlehandedly raised more money than all 2011 teams together. 8200 DKK will go towards Reden (the "nest") a private institution helping abused women working in prostitution.

All 5 groups have documented their work here:
Group 5         Group 4        Group 3
Group 2         Group 1

Congratulations to all 2012 teams for raising a total of over 12,000 DKK this year and raising the bar for next year's class.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Play31 and Hummel at CBS Responsibility Day 2012

CBS Responsibility Day is the first day of lectures at CBS for 2700 first year Bachelor Students. This year's case will focus on Danish sports brand hummel and its Karma United Campaign which includes a partnership with Play31. In 2010, hummel began sponsoring Sierra Leone’s national team and initiated a project to build children’s football schools there. In cooperation with the Danish organization Play31, community tournaments are organized in all provinces in Sierra Leone.

During tournaments, staff of Play31 talk with victims and former rebel soldiers to try to heal the wounds from the civil war, memories of which are still vivid in the minds of many, and teach them about human rights and other issues. Each year, the tournaments reach about 100,000 people.

Friday, 20 April 2012

CEMS Faculty Group Kick-off Meeting

Today CEMS has launched its Interfaculty Group in Social Entrepreneurship. The Kick-off meeting was held on the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) campus. It was attended by Franchesco Perrini from Bocconi, Alfred Vernis from ESADE, Li-Choy Chong from the University St.Gallen, Clémence Patureau from HEC Paris, as well as Kai Hockerts and Ester Barinaga from CBS. The group, which is open to faculty from all CEMS Member Schools, plans to arrange CEMS block seminars and CEMS PHD courses as well as joint research efforts.

Read more:

Thursday, 5 April 2012

5-year project will research Social Entrepreneurship in Belgium

A 5-year research project in Social Entrepreneurship has just received funding from the Belgian Science Policy Office. The project which will start in October 2012 will launch a partnership between four Belgian universities on the topic of “Building interdisciplinary and integrated knowledge on Social Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise”. The undertaking  aims at five important issues relating to social entrepreneurship: a supply-side theory of social innovation, finance and performance measurement, HR management, governance, and public policy. CBS is proud to be one of four universities included in the project as an international partner.

The project is lead by

  • Jacques Defourny from the Centre d’Economie Sociale (Université de Liège) and 
  • MartheNyssens from the Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherche Travail, Etat et Société (Université Catholique de Louvain Research Unit: Centre). 

For more information:

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Partnerships2012 Conference to be held at CBS

To quote former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan: “In today’s world, we depend on each other“. In other words, partnerships are increasingly seen as a panacea for solving the world’s social, environmental and economic problems, whether we are talking about climate change, hunger, inequality, poverty and pollution. But how do we build effective partnerships between businesses and the social sector?

The Partnerships2012 conference will be organised by Copenhagen Business School, the CSR Foundation, ISOBRO (The Danish professional association for fundraisers), the Confederation of Danish Industries, and the European Fundraising Association. The conference takes place from 10-12 June 2012. Besides Kofi Annan, who visits the conference on its 2nd day, the keynote speakers are Peter Eigen from the Transparency International, Jon Duschinsky from Be The Change, Christian Friis Bach, Minister for Development Cooperation and a number of multinationals who will visit the conference together with partner NGOs such as Amnesty International, UNICEF and WWF.

The conference is a result of CBS' new strategy - Business in Society. CBS disseminates knowledge and new ideas to the future CEOs and society in general based on the recognition that companies and organisations play a part in shaping society, and that society plays a part in shaping the functions and processes of organisations and companies.

Read more:

Monday, 19 March 2012

When Goliath met David

Palgrave has just published a new book "Social Innovation - Blurring Boundaries to Reconfigure Markets" (2012) edited by Alex Nicholls and Alex Murdock. The book provides papers from the 2009 ISIRC conference in Oxford. Included is also a chapter by Rolf Wüstenhagen and myself "When David Meets Goliath: Sustainable Entrepreneurship and the Evolution of Markets".

The chapter is a slightly revised version of our 2010 paper "Greening Goliaths versus emerging Davids — Theorizing about the role of incumbents and new entrants in sustainable entrepreneurship" originally published in the Journal of Business Venturing.

Read more about the book here:

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A bee in the bonnet?

A group of Danish Social Entrepreneurs are putting the "B" back into the "Big City". Their goal is to improve the urban environment and unlock social and economic benefits by introducing beekeeping and honey production into Copenhagen's inner city. 

Together with Aktivitetscenter Sundholm, a municipal center for long term unemployed, homeless and people with alcohol and drug problems, Bybi has established Scandinavia’s first urban honey factory. Bybi's assistant beekeepers are recruited from Sundholms service users. They are involved in the day to day running of the factory, meeting of visitors and looking after 3 million bees. 

Bybi keeps its bee hives on rooftops, in gardens and in the grounds of businesses across Copenhagen thus countering the trend of diminishing natural habitats for bees due to pesticides, intensive agriculture and climate change in the countryside.

Read more:

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

This week in Copenhagen: DANSIC Students organize Social Entrepreneurship Conference

In order to raise awareness about social innovation a group of students has launched DANSIC, a voluntary, student-driven organization. On the 8th of March DANSIC will holds its inaugural conference on the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) campus. DANSIC wants to be a platform for anyone in Denmark interested in social innovation. The team behind DANSIC consists of 30 project directors and over 20 other volunteers who are dedicated to different responsibilities.

Read more:

Monday, 20 February 2012

This month the Danish Social Capital has published its first investment - in Specialisterne ApS. The fund (which was mentioned earlier on this blog) is Denmark's first social venture fund that invests capital and skills in social entrepreneurs and businesses that solve social problems. The fund wants to help companies to grow - and thus generate the fullest possible social impact. The fund was established with 25 million DKK from TrygFonden and professional support from Accura and KPMG.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

CBS Students start Social Enterprise in Kenya

Have you ever thought about what women do who cannot afford pads or tampons? "All girls know that if you suddenly find yourself without anything and that time has come, you panic," says Maxie Mathiesen co-founder of Ruby Cup and alumna of the CBS Minor in Social Entrepreneurship. Women and girls living in developing countries face problems when they menstruate, because they cannot afford sanitary pads. Instead they use whatever they have at hand, such as bark, mud, newspaper, cloth, and pieces of mattress.

Ruby Cup wants to provide menstrual protection alternatives, which will not have negative environmental effects, and that are both available and affordable for women in developing countries. Ruby Cup was initiated and founded by three young women from Denmark and Germany. Veronica, Julie and Maxie met each other at Copenhagen Business School where they studied International Business and Politics, Sustainable Business, and Social Entrepreneurship. They all hold several years of international work experience in the fields of human rights, sustainable business/CSR, marketing, and trade and commerce. As young social entrepreneurial women, they are dedicated to making a difference for purpose and for profit.

In 2010, the idea has been selected as the winner in the CBS Social Entrepreneurship Minor class "Business Plan Writing for Social Enterprises". Since then Ruby Cup has gone from strength to strength. After raising over 100,000€ start capital in 2011 Ruby Cup has launched the company in Kenya. Just recently the team has been shortlisted as a finalist of the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) as well as Echoing Green. Good luck! Read more:

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Social Entrepreneurs at Davos

Social Entrepreneurship has reached the limelight for a quite a while now. So it is not for the first time that social entrepreneurs have been invited to Davos. Still it is encouraging to see that more initiatives get launched that want to help social entrepreneurs.

Read more: